In the field of righteousness, the field of Kuru, tell me, Sanjaya, whathappened when my army and the Pandavas faced each other, eager for battle?The poet Sanjaya said:Seeing the ranks of the Pandavas' forces, Prince Duryodhana approached histeacher, Drona, and spoke these words: "Look at this great army, led by theson of Drupada, your worthy pupil. Many great warriors stand ready to dobattle, many great archers, men as formidable as Bhima and Arjuna:Yuyudhana, Virata, the mighty Drupada, Dhrishtaketu, Chekitana, the heroicking of Benares, Purujit, Kuntibhoja, Shaibya that bull among men, boldYudhamanyu, Uttamaujas famous for his courage, the son of Subhadra, and thesons of Draupadi, all of them great warriors. Now, most honored of priests,look at the great men on our side, the leaders of my army: you, first ofall, then Bhishma, Karna, the always-victorious Kripa, Ashvatthama, Vikarna,the son of Somadatta, and many other heroes--all of them skilled in war andarmed with many kinds of weapons--who are risking their lives for my sake.Limitless is this army of ours, led by Bhishma; but their army, led byBhima, is limited. Wherever the battle moves, all of you must stand firm andmake sure that Bhishma is well protected."Then Bhishma, the aged grandfather of the Kurus, roared his lion's roar andblew a powerful blast on his conch horn, and Duryodhana's heart leapt withjoy. Immediately all the conches blared, and the kettledrums, cymbals,trumpets, and drums: a deafening clamor. Standing in their great chariotyoked with white horses, Krishna and Arjuna blew their celestial conches:Krishna blew the conch called "Won from the Demon Panchajanya"; Arjuna blew"God Given"; ferocious, wolf-bellied Bhima blew the mighty conch called"King Paundra"; Prince Yudhishthira blew "Unending Victory"; Nakula and histwin, Sahadeva, blew "Great Noise" and "Jewel Bracelet"; the king of Benaresthat superb archer, the great warrior Shikhandi, Dhrishtadyumna, Virata, theunconquerable Satyaki, Drupada, Draupadi's sons, the huge-armedAbhimanyu--all of them, O King, blew their conches at once. The uproar torethrough the hearts of Dhritarashtra's men and echoed throughout heaven andearth.Then Arjuna, looking at the battle ranks of Dhritarashtra's men, raised hisbow as the weapons were about to clash, and said to Krishna, "Drive mychariot and stop between the two armies, so that I can see these warriorswhom I am about to fight, drawn up and eager for battle. I want to look atthe men gathered here ready to do battle service for Dhritarashtra'sevil-minded son."After Arjuna had spoken, Krishna drove the splendid chariot and brought it toa halt midway between the two armies. Facing Bhishma, Drona, and the othergreat kings, he said: "Look, Arjuna. From here you can see all the Kurus whoare gathered to do battle."Arjuna saw them standing there: fathers, grandfathers, teachers, uncles,brothers, sons, grandsons, fathers-in-law, and friends, kinsmen on bothsides, each side arrayed against the other. In despair, overwhelmed withpity, he said: "As I see my own kinsmen, gathered here, eager to fight, mylegs weaken, my mouth dries, my body trembles, my hair stands on end, myskin burns, the bow Gandiva drops from my hand, I am beside myself, my mindreels. I see evil omens, Krishna; no good can come from killing my ownkinsmen in battle. I have no desire for victory or for the pleasures ofkingship. What good is kingship, or happiness, or life itself, when thosefor whose sake we desire them--teachers, fathers, sons, grandfathers,uncles, fathers-in-law, grandsons, brothers-in-law, and other kinsmen--standhere in battle ranks, ready to give up their fortunes and their lives?Though they want to kill me, I have no desire to kill them, not even for thekingship of the three worlds, let alone for that of the earth. What joywould we have in killing Dhritarashtra's men? Evil will cling to us if wekill them, even though they are the aggressors. And it would be unworthy ofus to kill our own kinsmen. How could we be happy if we did? Because theirminds are overpowered by greed, they see no harm in destroying the family,no crime in treachery to friends. But we should know better, Krishna:clearly seeing the harm caused by the destruction of the family, we shouldturn back from this evil. When the family is destroyed, the ancient laws offamily duty cease; when law ceases, lawlessness overwhelms the family; whenlawlessness overwhelms the women of the family, they become corrupted; whenwomen are corrupted, the intermixture of castes is the inevitable result.Intermixture of castes drags down to hell both those who destroy the familyand the family itself; the spirits of the ancestors fall, deprived of theirofferings of rice and water. Such are the evils caused by those who destroythe family: because of the intermixture of castes, caste duties areobliterated and the permanent duties of the family as well. We have oftenheard, Krishna, that men whose family duties have been obliterated must livein hell forever. Alas! We are about to commit a great evil by killing ourown kinsmen, because of our greed for the pleasures of kingship. It would bebetter if Dhritarashtra's men killed me in battle, unarmed and unresisting."Having spoken these words, Arjuna sank down into the chariot and dropped hisarrows and bow, his mind heavy with grief.